Published on September 18th, 2013 | by Henri


Insulation will reduce icicles

Q.    A shed-style roof overhangs a brick stoop at my front door. Every winter, after every snowfall (sometimes even during the snowfall), snow melts from the top section of the roof, travels down the steep slope of the lower section, freezing along the way, creating icicles above the brick stoop, so that thick ice covers the stoop.

The attic beneath the top part of the roof is well-ventilated, and its floor has six to eight inches of fiberglass insulation. The top part of the roof is not insulated at all. I cannot determine how (or if) the lower, steeper part of the roof has insulation, although the walls of the house do have four-to-six inches of fiberglass.

What choices do I have to eliminate the icing up?

A.    The first thing I would recommend is to have the top part of the roof insulated with as much blown-in cellulose as possible without blocking any ventilation passages if you have soffit and ridge vents. If cellulose is not practical, consider having closed-cell foam insulation sprayed in. This is your best bet if there is no ventilation in that part of the roof.

If there is no access possible into that part of the roof, and the ceiling height will allow it, the ceiling can be insulated with a minimum of 2 inches of rigid foam insulation. It must be covered with fire code drywall.

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